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A six pack of Molson Coors Brewing Co. Canadian beer is displayed for sale (Scott Eells/Bloomberg)
A six pack of Molson Coors Brewing Co. Canadian beer is displayed for sale (Scott Eells/Bloomberg)

DAILY GRIND

Dowbiggin: NHL’s corporate wall showing signs of cracking Add to ...

Hey look, the NHL and NHLPA are meeting in NYC today. You don’t care? Oh.

For those scoring the Lockout at home, it’s currently NHL 0, NHLPA 0, with the sponsors heading for the door. News that Kraft has transferred its sponsorship dollars for the NHL Hockeyville promotion to Hockey Canada is one of several costly bricks coming out of the corporate wall the NHL has so assiduously built up since the last lockout.

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One of the major differences since the 2004-’05 iteration is how much the NHL has grown in corporate sponsorships under COO John Collins in the past seven years. Last time, there were fewer major corporations paying big bucks to the league, and those that were were willing to give the NHL a one-time shot at restructuring its league.

They got a do-over. Now, the NHL is back asking for a mulligan. In response, the sponsors are going public with their unhappiness. In the days when Gary Bettman was talking about how profitable his league was (as opposed to how broke it is today) Scotiabank, Molson Coors, Verizon, McDonalds and others were the apple of his eye.

For their loyalty they have been rewarded with another incomprehensible squabble between Bettman and the labour force that shows no sign of ending. One by one, they’ve had to shelve or delay product rollout tied to the NHL season. Molson Coors has made it clear how they feel, and Kraft’s move is hardly a gesture of happiness with the NHL.

Sources tell Daily Grind many sponsors will be examining their commitment to the NHL when this ends.

As we said earlier, the corporate wobblies (who can’t be fined $1-million by the commissioner) are also doing nothing to force Donald Fehr and the players to take what’s currently being offered by the hawks of the NHL bargaining unit. They want to see how the NHL responds to this pressure.

So don’t expect today to be the day the players’ knees go weak.

SCOOPED

Guess owning an MLB team doesn’t buy what it used to. Rogers owns just about anything connected to the Blue Jays from the TV network to the rosin bag, yet found itself scooped by the indefatigable Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun on its own news about recycled manager John Gibbons.

The news broke late Monday night, leaving Sportsnet and The Fan 590 playing catchup on their own story. Give them credit for scrambling all hands to produce updated Connected shows for Tuesday morning with Jamie Campbell and Stephen Brunt discussing the news heading into Gibbons press conference.

Although Bob McCown will likely claim credit on Prime Time Sports for the scoop, because nobody reads newspapers anymore. When reporters Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal first tweeted the news of the Blue Jays’ big trade with Miami, McCown said, “They tweeted the story, that’s not really breaking it. And then we read their tweets. We really broke the story....because there was nobody that wasn’t in their mother’s basement who read the tweets.”

For the record, Rosenthal’s Twitter account has 281,265 followers. Morosi has 73,313 . Luckily, Bobcat was kidding. We think.

TWEET NOTHINGS

@ dowbboy Measure of CFL’s widespread popularity: TSN vote-in for play of the year features two plays by members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.”

Worked for the Republicans. Not. “ Kevin Paul Dupont ‏ @ GlobeKPD Wouldn’t this be the ideal time for Clint Eastwood to talk to an empty penalty box?”

@ dowbboy Can we just have Jenny McCarthy chase Justin Bieber around the stage at halftime of the GC game? Brought to you by Cougar Boots.”

Standards are different in La-La Land. “ SportsPickle ‏ @ sportspickle Lakers win the tip. D’Antoni is a GENIUS.”

POT O’ GOLD

Dennis Miller talks to Notre Dame’s biggest football fan , Martin Short. What? Who? Leprechauns?

dowbboy@shaw.ca / @dowbboy

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